Fake It Until You…BELIEVE It

You may have heard me talk about Chris’ obsession with TED talks. Every now and again he sends me a link  and harasses me until I give in and sit down and watch it. Or, worse, he will start to emulate some sort of behavior that was discussed in a TED talk until I give in and just ask him about it. There was the time he walked around in our bedroom in the pitch black click-clacking his tongue until I finally agreed to listen to his speech about echolocation. Then there was the romantic date night conversation about the sea-slug that detaches its own penis and sends it off to inseminate a female far away.  Meanwhile the owner of said penis sat back and did whatever it is that slugs do. “Detach and dispatch!” Chris had explained excitedly. After that TED talk, sea slugs were his heroes.  Needless to say when he has been watching TED, I get antsy.

Yesterday he sent me a link to Amy Cuddy’s talk about body language. Despite my eye-rolling- grudgingly-watching-it-so-you-will-leave-me-alone attitude, I am so glad I watched.

This utterly inspiring talk got me thinking about this team.  Cuddy is a social psychologist who presented her research about the importance of body language.


The Science

The idea was simple. Folks were selected to participate in a “fake” job interview. Prior to undergoing a short but intense period of questioning they were randomized to assume one of two body language positions for two minutes: high power or low power position. Applicants that assumed a “high power” posture for just two minutes before an interview,  actually were felt to be more confident, more qualified, and more employable by blinded interviewers. It didn’t so much have to do with the actual body language these people displayed during the interview. It had everything to do with these sort of silent pep talks they gave themselves by simply stepping into a confident persona for just two minutes prior to the interview.

The conclusion was simple and powerful. Tiny tweaks in body language lead to big changes in your behavior–even if the only person that ever sees that body language is you.

Wonder Woman: “High Power Stance”
"Low Power Posture" Courtesy of Amy Cuddy
“Low Power Posture” Courtesy of Amy Cuddy



This has to do with Team CMMD …how?

I am talking to all of you new, non-runners. You know who you are. You have been watching the team from the outside. You have told yourself that while you respect what we do, you  are NOT a real runner. Then, finally, you convince yourself that you are going to come out to a group run. You may sit in your car a few extra minutes hoping for a sudden case of the runs or a massive nose bleed that would give you a much-needed out. When neither happens, you step out and walk towards the group….you are nervous and feel like you just don’t fit in.

If that even remotely sounds familiar, here is what I want you to do next time.  Instead of sitting in your car praying for diarrhea. Step out and assume that Wonder Woman stance…just for a minute or two. Yes, you will be faking it but ….don’t we all fake it a little? If you fake it enough times not only will you make it, eventually you will BELIEVE it.  You will BELIEVE that you are a runner or walker or wogger or cyclist.


My Confession

I am nervous at every group run. I feel slow and fat most mornings. I hate my thighs and my arms and my hair. I am worried that I won’t remember anyone’s name and that everyone will get annoyed at me for that. So, tomorrow morning guess what I am going to do?  I am going to channel Wonder Woman. Hell, I may even borrow Amy B.’s Wonder Woman socks. Because that Amy B…now she’s a real runner….or is she?

Amy B. and HER Inner Wonder Woman
Amy B. and HER Inner Wonder Woman


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